Features
Reviews
Must Hear Music
Reviews Archives
Archives
Bargain Basement
Downloads
Music DVD
Upstart
Pipsqueaks
 
 
 
Features
Reviews
Archives
Send Us Mail
Contact Us
 
 

Waco Brothers
Waco Express - Live & Kickin' At Schuba's Tavern Chicago
Bloodshot Records
www.bloodshotrecords.com


There are two distinctly different ways to experience the Waco Brothers… you can either listen to the country greatness on a fine audio recording or you can step into a rocking little juke joint and experience the band in all its glorious power live. The latter is easily the better of the two experiences. While I have enjoyed the Waco Brothers' recordings over the years, they are merely a shadow compared to the intensity of the band live, much like The Mekons before them. John Langford is a powerful force in the studio, but on stage the man becomes a dervish, dishing out the rock like no one else - not even men half his age - is capable of doing. Waco Express is sixteen tracks of high-octane rocking country music that perfectly documents a really great Waco Brothers' show.

This gig is energetic from the word go, with Langford leading the Wacos into a frenzy of countrified rock on the supercharged "Waco Express". The song embodies all that is great about the Wacos. Crunchy guitars carry the song along a crest of tight drumming and solid bass lines, while the pedal steel fills in the extra space and Langford wails away about how "Everybody wants a sure thing these days/Nobody wants to go out on a whim these days/Every time I hear you asking for more, you better get more out on the floor…" The bar is set high for the remainder of the show, and the band never once disappoints. The set includes some hard-edged stomp ("Blink Of An Eye"), rockabilly swing ("Plenty Tuff Union Made"), blistering honky-tonk with some amazing pedal steel solos ("Red Brick Wall" and "Hello Roof"), and Rolling Stones-influenced blues ("Fox River"). Some band member quips, "We were emo when emo wasn't cool… wait… it's still not cool," and Langford preaches about the death of country music and how they'll finally achieve it with this album before launching into "Death Of Country Music." This track is probably one of the finest Waco songs ever, with swinging rhythms and brilliantly sardonic lyrics about the demise of the American art form, and in this live recording features some amazing steel playing and Langford at his finest, spitting venom and wailing away on the guitar. The true grit of country comes out on the dark "Harm's Way", before the band gets super-sonic on "Revolution Blues", with some of the finest guitar solos of the evening, and then wraps the set with band introductions and the classic honky-tonk of "Take Me To The Fire".

Waco Express is just one more rung in the ladder of alt. country, proving that the genre is just as vibrant and alive as ever. The fact that the Waco Brothers are almost single-handedly keeping it alive at times is no small feat. The band is more powerful and more relevant today than ever, giving the young and old something to hold onto. I just wish there was a DVD accompanying the recording. The band is excellent, but they're also a whole ton of fun to watch performing live as well. Get yourself out and see them if you ever get the chance… it is well worth the price of admission.

-Embo Blake


Check out more reviews

Talk Back
e-mail the chief

Like this article?
e-mail it to a friend!

 


Mike Doughty



Pink Floyd

-------


South By Southwest 2014
David DeVoe

South By Southwest 2013
David DeVoe

Red Hook Music Festival
George Dow

SXSW 2012
David DeVoe

Our Favorite Records 2011
Hybrid Staff

AWOLNation
Rachel Fredrickson

Kanrocksas
Rachel Fredrickson

Warped Tour 2011
Rachel Fredrickson

Eddie Spaghetti
Melissa Skrbic-Huss

Murder By Death
Mike DeLeo


Mike Doughty
Boulder, CO

Epilogues
Denver, CO

Imagine Dragons
Denver, CO

Sebadoh
Cambridge, MA

Young Magic
Denver, CO

Warped Tour 2012
Denver, CO

Thrice
Denver, CO

Mike Doughty
Denver, CO

MuteMath
Kansas City, MO

Other Lives
Lawrence, KS

Los Campesinos
Boston, MA

The Civil Wars
Lawrence, KS

Ha Ha Tonka
Lawrence, KS

Thrice
Lawrence, KS


 
hybridmagazine.com is updated daily except when it isn't.
New film reviews are posted every week like faulty clockwork.
Wanna write for hybrid? Send us an e-mail.
© 1996-2009 [noun] digital media. All rights reserved worldwide. All content on hybridmagazine.com and levelheadedmusic.com is the intellectual property of Hybrid Magazine and its respective creators. No part of hybridmagazine.com or levelheadedmusic.com may be reproduced in any format without expressed written permission. For complete masthead and physical mailing address, Click Here.